Documentary series to go behind the scenes of West Midlands Police

SOME of the fascinating – and largely unseen – work of West Midlands Police will come under the spotlight from Monday, with the launch of a new BBC series taking a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the force.

Over the last five months award-winning film-makers Topical TV have been given unprecedented access to the work of officers, support staff and the many units and departments across the force.

Film crews have followed the work of departments including Air Operations, Forensics, Firearms, Collision Investigation, Public Protection and the Football Unit.

They have also captured footage of officers executing warrants for the non-payment of fines as part of Operation Crackown; the build up to Operation Pelkin, the force’s major security operation around the Lib Dem Party Conference in Birmingham; Walsall’s Operation Nominal, cracking down on vice-related activity in Walsall, and the investigation into the murder of 21-year-old university student Jay Sudra.

Screened to go out at 9.15am every day over two weeks from this Monday (12 March) ‘Crime and Punishment’ will be shown on BBC One, presented by Louise Minchin and Gethin Jones.

It forms part of the channel’s wider schedule of programmes to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, looking at how life in Britain has changed since the 1950s.

The series incorporates footage from both WMP and the prison service and will be presented ‘as live’, offering viewers an insight into life in the uniformed services and the type of work officers and staff undertake on a daily basis.

Topical TV, who are responsible for creating popular series such as City Hospital and Real Rescues, pioneered the use of ‘presented live’ documentaries in programmes such as City Hospital. Real Rescues regularly attracts a daily audience of 1.4 million.

Peter Hayton, Editor of Topical TV, said: “I defy anyone to watch this series and not be impressed with the way the police carry out their work in an increasingly complicated and difficult world.”

He said highlights including the tragic murder of Jay Sudra, who was stabbed as he walked home in Erdington, Birmingham. “This was an extraordinary anatomy of a crime, the way the police and family together dealt with it and the ingenious detective work that trapped the murderer.”

Other highlights included the professionalism of Firearms teams who respond to potentially life threatening incidents on a daily basis and the ‘amazing’ work of the Paedophile Unit, he added.